10 ways to crush your fitness goals

Explore activities, health coaching, discounts and more.

As the new year approaches, many of us will add “improved fitness” to our list of resolutions. Staying active supports your health, and according to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), regular physical activity has many benefits, from improved cardiovascular health and reduced risk factors for heart disease, to improved mental health and greater strength and flexibility. If starting a new exercise routine seems intimidating, there are plenty of ways to ease into activities you’ll enjoy.

“When choosing a fitness program, it is important to find something that is right for you, your training goals and your lifestyle,” says Olga Hays, an American Council on Exercise-certified wellness promotion specialist at Sharp HealthCare. “Don’t just follow an exercise or nutrition trend because it’s hot right now — not all trends are going to work for you.”

“The word ‘exercise’ can sometimes trick our mind into thinking it has to be hard or challenging on the body,” says Monica, a Best Health® coach with Sharp Health Plan. “Think of it as movement for your body. And more importantly, choose an activity you will enjoy.”

Hays recommends adding one or more of the following 10 activities — all fun and effective — to your list of resolutions. Many of these are available through Sharp HealthCare classes and events or Sharp Health Plan’s Best Health wellness program.


Wearable technology — Many athletes, from beginners to Olympians, are using wearable fitness trackers to monitor everything from steps taken throughout the day, to their heart rate and sleep patterns. The devices can provide instant feedback and motivate you to reach your fitness goals.


Body weight training — Return to the basics with exercises that use your body’s own weight to provide resistance. Sit-ups, push-ups and pull-ups — these exercises can be done without a lot of equipment and right at home.


High-intensity interval training (HIIT) — HIIT involves short bursts of intense exercises followed by a short period of recovery to allow you to work out in less than 30 minutes, with little or no gym equipment.


Strength training — The use of weights, such as barbells, dumbbells and kettlebells, to improve or maintain muscle strength and endurance should be a core component of your fitness program, along with aerobic activities and increasing flexibility.


Personal trainingWorkouts guided by educated, properly credentialed fitness professionals can often mean the difference between fitness goals met and fitness goals abandoned. Trainers educate, motivate and serve as your number one cheerleader as you strive to get fit.


Functional fitness — A good functional fitness program includes exercises that closely resemble the way we move while performing day-to-day tasks in order to improve your balance and ability to perform daily activities.


Fitness programs for older adults — As our country ages, fitness plans designed for older adults to get stronger, healthier and more vital are becoming more popular.


Yoga — Breath control, meditation and specific poses make up the practice of yoga, which increases strength and flexibility, and aids in relaxation. There are a variety of different yoga styles, each with a specific purpose and methodology.


Exercise and weight loss programs — Pairing fitness and nutrition in a program offers increased success as you strive to meet weight loss and management goals.

Although you should always check with your doctor before starting a new fitness program, Hays says it’s also important to check with yourself.

“Have fun trying new activities, but most importantly, listen to your body, see what feels right and then make your decision,” she says.


Health coaching and wellness discounts — You can find the support you need to get closer to your goals, all while saving on your gym membership and workout classes.

“There may be times you fall off track with your goal. Don’t dwell on why, focus on how to get back on track,” Monica explains.

When you need an extra boost of motivation, these programs can help.

  • Studio SWEAT onDemand

    Explore a variety of onDemand and live streaming workouts, including yoga, Spinning®, barre and HIIT, at 50% off standard rates.

  • Active&Fit Direct

    Work out in person or from the comfort of home with access to participating fitness centers nationwide and 800+ workout videos.

  • Free health coaching

    Get one-on-one tailored support from experienced personal health and lifestyle coaches with the Best Health Wellness program. Weekly sessions are convenient, phone-based and customized to your needs. Choose from five topics, including healthy weight, healthy eating, physical activity and more. Schedule a consultation to get started.

Source: Sharp Health News

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